Panel takes no action on bill requiring phones, computers to block obscene materials

Rep. Jack D. Williams, R-Birmingham, explained his legislation requiring cell phones, computers and other devices that allow internet access to have a filter that blocks access to certain obscene materials, but the House Commerce and Small Business Committee took no action Wednesday, April 5. Williams said he wanted to start the conversation and asked that a subcommittee be formed to study children’s access to pornography.

HB428 requires devices sold after Jan. 1, 2018, to have a filter blocking child pornography, solicitations for prostitution and human trafficking, among other obscene materials.

For a $20 one-time fee, which the seller must remit to the state, retailers who sell devices with internet access would be required to deactivate the filter for their 18-year-old or other customers who requested the filter’s removal in writing. The bill does allow the retailer to charge its own deactivation fee.

This article is part of the Alabama Retail Report, a communication for Alabama Retail Association members. Not a member? Join us!

Reprints or republishing are welcomed but require permission. Contact us for permission.